A Litany For Long-Term HIV/AIDS Survivors

Written after meeting Erin Allday, Kevin, and Mick of Last Men Standing an article and film about long term survivors of HIV/AIDS.

One: For being unable to grieve
Many: You are forgiven
One: For not going to the funerals
Many: You are forgiven
One: For being unable to do anything
Many: You are forgiven
One: For working yourself to distraction
Many: You are forgiven
One: For wishing you’d had the virus
Many: You are forgiven
One: For not taking your meds
Many: You are forgiven
One: For being depressed
Many: You are forgiven
One: For locking yourself away
Many: You are forgiven
One: For detaching from those you love
Many: You are forgiven
One: For contemplating suicide
Many: You are forgiven
One: For acting on suicidal thoughts
Many: You are forgiven
One: For feeling like you are wasting borrowed time
Many: You are forgiven
One: For fearing the future
Many: You are forgiven
One: For not knowing what comes next
Many: You are forgiven
One: For feeling this way for a long, long time
Many: You are forgiven
One: For living
Many: You are forgiven. You are forgiven. We are forgiven.
One: Your life means something. Even if it is a mystery to you. I assure you it is no mystery to those who love you. It is no mystery to the divine.

For all that has past, you are forgiven. Today is a new and blessed day. Those who are gone can never be forgotten. They have shaped you. They have shaped this very world.

They live in your breath. They live in your wonder and your mystery. They live in a memory so strong that it still terrifies those in power.

Their lives continue on. They are still making a difference. They are still fighting back.

They live in you. Allow yourself to live with them.

Many: Amen

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